Cedar County Emergency Management Agency launches new weather radio program

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A new program in Cedar County is letting the county’s emergency management agency help keep dozens of homes aware of impending emergencies like severe weather.

For decades, people have used weather radios to stay safe and alert of storms at any hour.

“Knowing that we are doing everything we can to fulfill the mission of keeping people safe and property and the environment safe is key,” Jodi Freet, the director for the Cedar County Emergency Management Agency, said.

In order to help meet that goal, Freet launched a new program to keep people prepared and safe.

“We thought about, the fact that a weather radio would help people become aware during severe weather, so I was able to secure a grant through the Community Foundation of Cedar County, was able to purchase a good number of weather radios that we are giving away free.”

Freet was able to get a $2,000 grant that could cover 100 radios. This would help get the word out for tornadoes, severe weather, and AMBER alerts for more people in the county that is largely rural and spread out.

Mindy Beekman, who lives in the 130-person town of Rochester, thinks the safety net provided by the program could be critical in her community.

“This just gets us to the point where we know we’re in trouble. Which we don’t have that in, like, say Rochester. We’re unincorporated. We don’t have a security system or any sirens or anything like that,” Beekman said.

Beekman is a new participant in the program. She and her family will be better prepared for the next weather disaster with her new weather radio.

“My mother has mobility issues, so being able to move her to a safe place quickly and, you know, to get her there fast and securely is important to me,” Beekman said. “Having a weather radio go off is going to be kind of crucial to that.”

If you would like to join the program, you can go to the county’s website for more information.

Cedar County Emergency Management said those looking to get a free weather radio must prove they are a resident of Cedar County and complete a family emergency plan.

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